Fans of Australia’s ABC TV channel’s “The Doctor Blake Mysteries” (that just started a new series) will doubtless have already seen Series 2 Episode 3 “A Foreign Field” (it aired yesterday, 21st February 2014).

The-Doctor-Blake-Mysteries-article

But if you haven’t, and fancy a bit of meanwhile-in-1959 retro-stylee forensic crime-solving period action, and with a storyline clearly based on the Somerton Man cold case, then there may still be time to catch up with it online on ABC’s iview website – though sadly (as I quickly found out) only if you happen to be in Australia.

Anyway, my mystery informant (OK, OK, it’s actually Bob, thanks Bob!) tells me that the episode has a “handsome stranger dying in a Ballarat park“, as well as poetry from the great Australian poet A. D. Hope (whose “The Wandering Islands” (1955) had only just been published), “codes, and Russian spies in the mix“. Sounds like fun, shame I can’t see it myself! 🙁

18 thoughts on “Doctor Blake meets the Somerton Man (sort of)…

  1. Dr Blake isn’t really my thing, but it wasn’t bad at all. It was essentially the Somerton case transposed to Ballarat and no mention of a child. A nice twist/addition by the writer/s was making the dead guy a serial ladies man (which may have been the case with SM too).

  2. Qantessa on March 9, 2014 at 2:58 am said:

    Jestyn was a known associate of Clive J Anderson, a communist sympathiser in Adelaide. She had a ten year affair with him before finally leaving Prosper who lived alone until his death. Both were Jewish.

  3. misca on March 10, 2014 at 2:42 am said:

    Qantessa – Was Jestyn jewish before she began her affair with Clive or did she convert?

    I have found information that indicates that her aunt married a jew but nothing else that links her mother’s line to the jewish religion.

  4. misca on March 12, 2014 at 3:18 am said:

    Q – Is Clive J in any way related to Jean Cameron Anderson?

  5. Furphy on March 12, 2014 at 5:13 am said:

    I don’t think it is recorded which (if any) denomination Jessie Harkness adhered to as a child, but her brother Thomas (jr) was an Anglican i.e. he reported “CofE” when he joined the Army (service no. V215970). (Their father, Thomas senior, appears to have been raised as a Catholic. Ellen Harkness, nee Lee, Jessie and Thomas’s mother, appears to have been a member of the Church — she and Thomas senior were married by that denomination, at Johnston Memorial Congregational Church in Fremantle, WA. Such a marriage would have alienated Thomas from Catholicism, unless a reciprocal ceremony were held in a Catholic Church and the children were raised as Catholics.)

    It sounds like Qantessa is suggesting some kind of innate link between Jews and communists. If that were true, Israel would be the most communist state of all (which is a laughable idea) and; the communist parties and leadership of the former USSR and its client states should have been dominated by their Jewish minorities (but they weren’t). There is no evidence that such things were even slightly true, although such myths fester on — perpetuated by neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist Nazi etc propaganda.

    The only real implication of matrilineal descent for Jews is that that the children of Jewish mothers, even non-practising ones are held to be “automatically” Jews. Some ultra-orthodox Jewish communities do not accept converts, but anyone can convert to the mainstream forms of Judaism.

    To be buried in the Jewish section of any cemetery — as Jessie was — usually requires good standing within one’s local Jewish community. It does not require one to have a Jewish spouse or parents.

    Jessie Thomson therefore almost certainly officially converted to Judaism, some time after she married.

  6. Furphy on March 12, 2014 at 5:26 am said:

    * That should have read “Ellen Harkness, nee Lee, Jessie and Thomas’s mother, appears to have been a member of the Congregational Church”

  7. Smerdon on March 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm said:

    JEstyn stayed with prosper until his death.

  8. Qantessa on March 12, 2014 at 8:28 pm said:

    Very unlikely and patently untrue as she had several affairs with prominent doctors from Parkside in addition to the one mentioned, and this was well known in the local Jewish community. In fact, so bad was Jessica’s reputation that her funeral director had to negotiate directly with the cemetery to have her interred in the Jewish section, where she lies next to one of her boyfriends. The local chevra kadisha wouldn’t lie her out either. Her long suffering husband she quickly incinerated and scattered in a creek bed nearby. He has a lovely tiny rock with a plaque on it to her giant macabre monument.

  9. misca on March 13, 2014 at 2:19 am said:

    Well, despite all discussions, no one ever seems to have found her birth certificate. Given this, one can’t eliminate the possibility that she could have been born jewish.

  10. B Deveson on March 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm said:

    Qantessa, I note that Jessica is buried next to Dr Albert Hefez, who seems to have been a psychiatrist, and may have practised at Parkside mental hospital. Was Dr Hefez the boyfriend you had in mind, or is it Abram Frishling? Or both?
    I would think the wife, or wives, and the children would have been very upset by Jessie being interred next to their husbands/fathers?

  11. Smerdon on March 14, 2014 at 9:03 pm said:

    Get a grip people. All the affairs / relationships you are suggesting that Yessikah had are pure speculation. Nothing else. Stick to the facts.

  12. Smerdon on March 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm said:

    JEstyns real biological father was not Thomas Harkness although he appears on the birth certificate.

  13. Furphy on March 15, 2014 at 4:52 am said:

    Smerdon, until now I assumed you were one of a handful of trolls deliberately muddying the waters in the interests of protecting the beleaguered names of Jessie and/or Prosper and their relatives. But lo and behold, here you are urging us to “stick to the facts”! My profoundest and most humble apologies. So, if you say that T. Harkness snr wasn’t really Jessie’s dad, it must be both true AND relevant to this case in some way. *Removes tongue from cheek.*

    So what is your source/proof for that statement and why should anyone care?

  14. Smerdon on March 16, 2014 at 11:34 am said:

    I heard it from JEstyn many years ago.

  15. Smerdon – Did she happen to mention anything about her biological mother?

  16. Celestine on March 17, 2014 at 10:35 am said:

    [Swearing] lying [Swearing]

  17. Smerdon on March 17, 2014 at 11:23 am said:

    Indeed. That she was a good lady and mother.

  18. Smerdon on March 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm said:

    Celestine : I love how any time that there is any positive truthful information relating to the character profile of JEstyn or her family , you are the first one to get angry . You should really get a grip on your emotions or it will eat your soul up in the end . 🙂

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